Kelvin “Kelly” Kemp relaxing between blogs in Honolulu, Hawai’i, April 2012.
Kelly served as an assistant swimming coach to Albert “Al” Minn for UH in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1980, he merged three local women’s water polo teams, which included players primary from Hawaii Kai and Manoa, to participate in USA Water Polo National and Junior Olympic (NJO) Championships. These young ladies did the state proud winning the Senior Division of the Hawai’i Age Group Championships while making the quarterfinals of the USWP Senior Outdoors and finishing with the Bronze Medal at the USWP Junior Nationals. The club team is still active, alternating names between “Rainbow” and “Anuenue” from that time on.
Kelly was active duty US Air Force stationed at Wheeler and Hickam AFBs on O’ahu, married to Shelley (formerly Chong) of Hawai’i Kai. Following his departure from the islands, the club was coached by David Hale (Punahou/UCLA) and John Nielsen (‘Iolani/Occidental), who led the ‘Bows to the USWP Junior National title in 1982. At that time, Shelley and Kelly had already moved to Colorado, where Kelly became an assistant swimming and water polo coach for Air Force, and Shelley became the head club coach for the Falfins Swim Team. Kelly organized and formed the first women’s water polo competitive club at the Academy, which won the Rocky Mountain Division of CWPA and participated in the first and third US Collegiate Club Nationals for women, recording a seventh-place finish that first year (based on goal differential in pool play) and a fifth-place finish in 1986 (based on bracket play). His 1985-1986 team won the USWP Senior Indoors in the fall of 1985. From 1983-1986, Kelly was also the Head Swimming Coach for Air Force, coaching Olympic Trials & National qualifiers, Collegiate All-Americans and NCAA Div II Champions.
Kelly has a long and distinguished water polo coaching career throughout the states, with his clubs winning 9 national titles and 5 state titles in 3 states (1 California, 2 Colorado, 2 Hawai’i). He also served double-duty on numerous local and national committees for USA Water Polo and local committees for USA Swimming. As there are too many accomplishments to mention here, all of his administrative/ coaching bullet-paper biographical events are listed on the Kai~Sports web site. Additionally, Kelly is the founder of USA Masters Water Polo in 1988, now celebrating their 25th year of holding National Championships. Kelly was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2003.
Kelly and Shelley’s 3 daughters each swam and played water polo in both high school (El Segundo) and college. Kamille (US Air Force Academy, ’07, club); Coral (UC Berkeley, ’11, varsity and club); Chelsea (UC Los Angeles, ’12, club).
Also interesting to note, Shelley’s dad, Don Chong, was a long time coach of “Rainbow,” including a selection as the Hawai’i Swimming Coach of the Year, and Kelly’s mother, Margaret Kemp, was a long time coach of Long Beach Wilson “Bruins,” Moore League Coach of the Year/CIF-SS Runner-up team, both while producing numerous champion swimmers/student athletes.